Wilder's Explanation For Fury Loss

A heavy costume?

Jim Rome
February 25, 2020 - 10:11 am
Deontay Wilder

USA Today


Deontay Wilder spoke to Kevin Iole yesterday about his loss to Tyson Fury and his plans for the future. Let’s get a couple of details out of the way first. FIRST…He told Iole that he’s going to exercise the rematch clause in his contract so there will be a third fight with Fury.

The plan as he outlined is to take a vacation next month and then get back into the gym and get to work.

I get why Wilder would want to come back and fight Fury as quickly as he can. He just suffered a tough loss and wants to get the taste out of his mouth as quickly as possible. But as Iole pointed out on the show yesterday, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Guys who suffer a loss like that and rush back into the gym are rarely ever the same. They don’t recover physically and mentally from the loss and they’re never the same again.

The smart approach, and the more challenging approach in some ways, is to take time off, rest up, heal up, and then come back. Maybe even get a tune-up fight under your belt and get your rhythm back.

Let Fury face Anthony Joshua, and then you face the winner, and beat that guy to win the unified belt.

I get it, it sucks. You want to avenge that loss and erase the bad memories in a hurry, but you can’t do that. Be disciplined. Let that pain motivate you in the long run.

Wilder also praised Fury’s performance: “I’m super happy for Tyson Fury and I really want to give him my complete congratulations. He’s had a lot of great accomplishments in his career and this is right there with all of them. I’m very excited about his career and what he has done. He deserves a lot of credit.”

While Wilder came with respect for Fury, he also came with some other interesting items, like the fact that he’s still pissed at Mark Breland for throwing in the towel.

“I am upset with Mark for the simple fact that we’ve talked about this many times and it’s not emotional. It is not an emotional thing, it’s a principal thing. We’ve talked about this situation many, many years before this even happened. I said as a warrior, as a champion, as a leader, as a ruler, I want to go out on my shield. If I’m talking about going in and killing a man, I respect the same way. I abide by the same principal of receiving. So I told my team to never, ever, no matter what it may look like, to never throw the towel in with me because I’m a special kind. I still had five rounds left. No matter what it looked like, I was still in the fight.”

I get that as well. Wilder has a fighter’s mentality and he always believes that he can win with that right hand. But that was never happening. He wasn’t himself on Saturday night. And when Fury was hammering him in the latter part of that fight, Wilder wasn’t able to defend himself or mount any sort of attack.

But to hear Wilder say it, he still believed he could win and he believes that Breland betrayed him and let him down by throwing in the towel. And he’s probably never coming off that point. That’s fine. A fighter always has to have that mentality that he can win, no matter what. You can’t lose that edge. And he probably thinks that throwing in the towel is a sign of weakness.

When Iole suggested that Breland was looking out for Wilder’s best interests, Wilder still wasn’t coming off it.

“I understand he was looking out for me and trying to do what he felt was right, but this is my life and my career and he has to accept my wishes.”

And that is always the tension between a fighter and a corner when it comes to throwing in the towel. Especially when that fighter has the knockout power that Wilder has. The fighter always thinks he has a shot and does not want that shot taken away from him by his own corner.

But that doesn’t mean that Breland didn’t do the right thing. That might cost Breland his job, but if I was Mark Breland, I’d be able to sleep at night knowing I did the right thing. Wilder might think throwing in the towel is a sign of weakness, but it’s a sign of intelligence. It guaranteed there can be a third fight with Fury. Because the way that fight was going, if that fight had gone on longer, there might not have been a third fight.  There might not have been any quality of life. Again, wounded pride is a helluva better than damaged brain. 

Wilder also had some complaints about the ref and the fact that he felt there was a double standard with how he was being officiated and how Fury was being officiated. And he had an interesting explanation for why the fight went the way that it did.

“He didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is ... That my uniform was way too heavy for me.” 

I’m sorry, come again? Did he just say that the outfit he wore into the ring was too heavy and that’s what cost him the fight?

“I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. But I’m a warrior and people know that I’m a warrior. It could easily be told that I didn’t have legs or anything. A lot of people were telling me, ‘It looked like something was wrong with you.’ Something was, but when you’re in the ring, you have to bluff a lot of things. I tried my best to do so. I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.”

I really like Deontay Wilder. I really enjoy having him on the show. I like watching him fight.  He is a warrior. And a gladiator. 

But that is one of the all-time worst explanations for anything ever. My pre-fight costume was too heavy and that’s why I lost?

It had nothing to do with the 6’9, 273 pound giant pounding on you? It was all about the costume? How heavy was that costume?

According to Wilder, it was forty pounds.

“I was only able to put it on [for the first time] the night before, but I didn’t think it was going to be that heavy. It weighed 40, 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I wanted my tribute to be great for Black History Month. I wanted it to be good and I guess I put that before anything.”

If that’s an excuse, it’s a bad excuse. And if it’s an explanation, it’s a worse explanation.

Blaming the costume? That’s why you lost? Not the fact that Fury perfectly executed a perfect gameplan and kept you backing up all night and never let you get into rhythm. Yes, I agree, Wilder didn’t look like himself and his legs looked off, but I’d say that was because a massive human being was pounding him. There’s no shame in having your legs not work when Tyson Fury is beating on you. That’s normal. It sucks, but it’ll happen.

Bad costumes shouldn’t happen.  

I’m not sure what’s a worse look – blaming the fight on the costume or being right to blame the fight on the costume.

Let’s ignore Tyson Fury and the clinic he put on for a moment, and say that the costume really was to blame. If that’s the case, why are you wearing a costume that’s too heavy for the biggest fight of your life? And why weren’t you trying it on until the night before?

And when you did put it on the night before, why didn’t you say to someone, hey, this is a really cool costume, but I think it’s too heavy and might cost me the fight.

Maybe shave a few pounds off that costume. Just go with the mask or better yet, just go Tyson Towel, hurry to the ring and beat up your opponent.

Also, are you really trying to say that after all the training you’ve done, a 40 pound costume with mask and batteries is too much? The heavyweight champ was done in by a 40 pound costume that he had to wear for a ring walk? How far is the ring? How long was he wearing it? It’s not like he just jogged a marathon in an old-school deep sea diver’s suit.

That doesn’t make sense at all. Again, I’ve always liked my conversations with Wilder, but that explanation is really tough to take.

Again, I know when you lose a fight you have to do some mental gymnastics to explain it, but that is going way too far. That is taking a bad night and making it worse.